Story By: NORTH EAST MOTOR SPORTS MUSEUM – LOUDON, NH – For decades, supermodified races have filled pits and grandstands at New England race tracks. Now, the North East Motor Sports Museum honors the brave supermodified driving stars and those who prepare their cars and promote their races.
Through October 2019, the supers and those who compete driving them are the museums featured exhibit. In a display underwritten by lead sponsor Shea Concrete and supporting sponsor the International Supermodified Association there are more supermodifieds on the floor than the museum has ever hosted for any other division in its existence.
Cars on display are as wild as the cut-down built by the Volante brothers, driven by the fearless one, Gavin Couper in the ‘60s, Its outrageous power came from a Chevy engine with a blower bolted to its intake.
When NESMRA sanctioned races in the 1960s and ‘70s at Star, Thompson and Arundel Speedways, cars driven to race wins and championships by Ed West and Ollie Silva are on display.
Not replicas, the real thing driven by these, the top two NESMRA feature winners.
The first big race Bentley Warren won was the 1969 Oswego Classic. The winning trophy from that race is on display at the museum as is a trophy collection from wins crafted by Paul “Ricochet” Richardson.
In 1964 Ed Perkins built a roadster that was driven by Richardson, Silva, Warren, and flipped end-over-end in 1975 at Thompson by Ipswich, MA driver Art Rousseau. That’s when the car’s racing days ended. Perkins then installed it in his basement where it has sat unseen for more than 40 years before being restored and coming to the museum in April.
There are just two cars remaining from the once-robust V-6 supermodified class, both driven by “Torrid” Ted Parker and one of them can be seen in the museum’s Supermodified display.
Ed Shea, whose company, Shea Concrete, is the lead sponsor of the exhibit and this year’s Legends Day event, once put an insane supermodified in the hands of Russ Wood who proceeded to win four championships driving it. The car, which has been magnificently restored, and more than a half-dozen trophies Wood won driving it, some of them six-feet-tall, are at the museum for you to see. The car driven to the Star Speedway Classic win in 1978 by the late Dave Thomas has been restored and is on display.
Also on display are photo albums focused on supermodified racing in New England from the early cut-down days to the sport as it is today.
Highlight of the exhibit will take place on Sunday, October 27, when Legends Day will honor the late Ollie Silva, and driving stars Ed West and Bentley Warren in an afternoon of remembrance, stories, laughter, and fellowship. The event will take the stage at noon at the museum and includes lunch. It will sell out. Tickets are priced at $30 for non-members, $25 for members. Send payment to North East Motor Sports Museum, 922 Rt 106, Loudon, NH 03307 or call to order tickets 603-783-0183. Tickets are limited! The exhibit’s Grand Opening will be on Memorial Day weekend, May 25 and 26, from 10am-4pm.
About: The North East Motor Sports Museum is owned by the Racing History Preservation Group, a 501-c-3 educational non-profit organization that seeks to discover, preserve and share the history of motorsports in the Northeast. The 10,000 square foot museum opened in 2017 on the grounds of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH.